eCommerce Checklist – Holiday Marketing Tips

The Problem/Opportunity

We’re getting into the holiday season and hopefully you’re starting to think about and plan your holiday promotions. If you had a great year so far, you’re fired up and want to maximize your all the efforts you’ve tried during the earlier part of the year. If you’re not having a good year so far, now is the time to amp it up and take advantage of the holiday gift-giving season to rev up sales.  Here’s the way to look at this, someone is going to buy and someone is going to sell, so it might as well be you. What’s the plan?

The Solution:

You can implement some of the following tips to help you this holiday season and beyond.

  • Customer/Product Reviews
    It’s not too late to install tools like that enables customers to provide valuable reviews of your products and services. Starting in the fall, you will experience higher levels of traffic related to the holiday season as visitors are motivated to buy gifts. You can maximize high volume traffic to get customers to rate your products/services.  Product reviews help with sales conversion and add social proof that people do business on your site.  I would wait until after the holiday season is over to send these requests because it may just get lost in the barrage of emails consumers will be receiving during the holidays.
  • Retarget Marketing
    Retargeting is an advertising method that helps convert visitors who leave your site without purchasing. It keeps your brand on their radar through the use of cookies. Sign up on a CPA (cost per action) basis with companies like or a similar ad network to do your retarget marketing. They will set up the after site visit advertising to keep your brand visible long after the visitor has left your site.  The caveat here is to minimize the “creepy” factor. Be respectful and use good judgment but get them back!
  • Holiday Theme

Make sure your website is festive looking and has a holiday theme. Your site is all about feeling good and providing solutions to knock items off your visitors gift checklist.  Create recipient categories like gifts for Her/Mom or Budget pricing categories. (Gifts under $50, under $25). Everyone is on a budget these days and short on time, so help your visitor navigate your site faster.

  • Fine Tune Email Marketing 
    There will be lots of noise in people’s inboxes, so make sure yours stand out and get attention.
  1. It’s all about the OFFER. The better the offer, the higher the open rate and the click through rate (CTR).  Make it an offer that your list can’t refuse.
  2. Entice them to sign up to preview your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Offers – preview and buy now exclusive marketing or beat the crowd specials.
  3. Make your subject line FUN, like “Gift-giving Style: What your gift says about you.”
  4. Do a 12-days of Christmas count down gift offer or promotion.
  5. Last-minute offers to last-minute shoppers
  • Wish List/Gift Reminders                                                                                                

Having this tool allows your visitor to connect with you. It’s like a personal gift concierge service. It also gives your visitor an excuse to bookmark what they like from your site and you can notify them of their pending wish list or gifts they need to buy for family and friends.  As a byproduct, wish lists help you to know what items resonate with your visitor around which you can tailor a future marketing campaign.

  • Revamp/Review your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns                                           

It maybe a tad too late to implement search engine optimization (SEO) for this holiday season, especially if your category is highly competitive; however, it doesn’t mean that you should stop doing SEO, it just means that you’re not expecting SEO to drive your holiday traffic. PPC will handle the traffic issue.  Review your money keywords, meaning your highest converting keywords, and make sure those pages are optimized and converting on your site. Don’t forget last year’s “holiday keywords” as well.

  • Mobile Friendly

Making sure your site is mobile friendly is critical in today’s mobile world. With so many smart phone users these days and people on-the-go, making your website mobile friendly is not an option but a competitive advantage.

  • Bundled Gifts or Free Gifts

Toward year-end, you’re always stuck with a few odds and ends – products that can be bundled together to form a gift basket that would be exclusive to your site. You can also move some inventory by giving away a “free gift” with purchase (GWP). These are always appealing offers that shoppers can’t resist.

In The Long Run:

Now is the time to ensure that all your ducks are in a row and that your business is prepared for the busy holiday season. Double-check your shipping supplies, paper, ink/toner, your vendors, drop shippers, systems and processes are checked and double-checked. Make sure you have enough people to handle the phones and fulfill orders. Ensuring these key elements will help reduce stress and help you deal with unknowns that may arise during the busy season.

Getting to “eCommerce heaven” is a marathon, not a sprint – but you can get better every week.

By: Shirley Tan

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eCommerce Checklist – Holiday Marketing Tips

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